1. Im your boyfriend now, Nancy A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
In 1984, Wes Craven wrote and directed a low budget, high concept horror film that caused a huge splash in the already tired barrage of bland slasher films assaulting cinemas across the world. The original A Nightmare on Elm Street was a sleek, imaginative exploration into the horrors that ensue when hidden subconscious guilt is left unaddressed to fester in ones psyche. But thats not all; wrapped up in this theme of psychological torment is an expression of the pain felt when the new generation is inevitably held accountable for the older generations sins. Considering the multiple layers of this ingeniously conceived film, I could literally write hundreds more sentences equaling the hyper-analytical fervor of the ones you just read. Alas, as delicious as that may be, this article is not about the original film, nor is it about the films thematic power. Its about Freddy and how he became a clown. So, Nancy is our heroine. Her boyfriend was just sucked through his own bed into what can only presumably be the worlds most brutal meat grinder. The result is a fountain of blood - a geyser really - roaring up from the hole in the sheets. Nancy gets a phone call. Freddys on the other line and gleefully exclaims, Im your boyfriend now, Nancy. The receiver of the phone suddenly becomes Freddys mouth and he hungrily proceeds to tongue her, licking wildly. Here, Freddy is scary, disturbing, and has no consideration for peoples personal boundaries. He has a cruel schoolyard bully vibe, obviously taking pleasure in the suffering hes caused. Its this part of the Freddy character that the rest of the series latches onto. The idea that Freddy would kick you in the head, then make fun of the red stuff pouring down your face, is the essence of cruelty. The sequels gradually lighten up on the mocking by adding some admirable cleverness. The idea that Freddy takes time to, or is even interested in composing elaborate jests and puns effectively strips him of his basic frightening nature: he hurts you for the love of causing pain, not for the love of word play. However, with each film that follows, save for number seven, the image of jester Freddy is run ragged until it finally collapses from exhaustion in number six.